Be still my beating heart. This film. VIDEODROME. Cinema doesn’t get much better. And this beautiful 4K Ultra HD Special Release from Arrow Films even smells fantastic.
I’m proud to have contributed a retrospective roundtable discussion for the booklet with Cerise Howard, Dr Josh Nelson and Dr Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. But this is only a small portion of this special release, which is bursting with vivid viscerality.
To call Second Sight releases ‘breathtaking’ is something of an understatement. Just when I think they’ve outdone themselves, they come up with another. This time, it’s a special 4K UHD & Blu-ray edition of DRIVE (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011).
I’ve contributed to the booklet of this special edition where I do my best to posit DRIVE as a fairytale. Do you agree with me? I’m willing to consider your arguments once you’ve read the essay.
Producer Sam Katzman was a genius when it came to churning out cheap exploitation flicks that returned on their minuscule budgets in spades. He brashly ventured into anything he thought could turn a buck, from 1950s TV serials to films on rock ‘n’ roll and juvenile delinquency.
THE GIANT CLAW sits within his work in the Atomic Age monster movie sub-genre and delivers generously with a ‘plucked turkey’ monster so ridiculous you can’t help but love it. The other films featured in the boxset are THE WEREWOLF, CREATURE WITH THE ATOMIC BRAIN and ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU.
I only hope that Cerise and I managed to do THE GIANT CLAW justice in acknowledging the spirit in which it was made i.e. with tongue-in-cheek fun (or should that be ‘tongue-in-beak’?).
And because I can’t get enough of THE GIANT CLAW, here’s my gift to you…
I was blessed to be asked by Indicator to write this booklet essay on the Freddie-Francis-directed NIGHTMARE (1964) for their glorious four-disc release called Hammer Volume 6: Night Shadows, also containing THE SHADOW OF THE CAT (1961), CAPTAIN CLEGG (1962) and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1962).
I’ve done my best to capture the artwork in the two photos below for what can only be described as a breathtaking boxset. Let’s just say, this is an edition that is sure to make an impression in any DVD collection.
Thank you to Kier-La Janisse for providing the inspiration behind this piece.
I’m tripping over myself with new blu-ray releases at the moment, so my tardiness in promoting Second Sight’s sigh-worthy release of LAKE MUNGO is due to nothing but giving it some room to breathe.
The featured artwork should be enough to encourage you to see this mesmeric Australian story of ghosts and grief but, if not, I encourage you to do a quick scoot around the internet and you’ll hear from others who have been wrapped in its magic.
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and I had a lot to say in our audio commentary on this release of LAKE MUNGO. But we’re not the only ones.
This limited edition boxset brings together diverse voices to talk about a feature that will only be more and more appreciated with the passing of time until it is eventually regarded as a classic.
I recently took possession of Arrow Film‘s absolutely gorgeous, limited edition, two-disc, blu-ray release of Jill Gevargizian‘s The Stylist. This is really something special – a jam-packed release, many would say – and I’m honoured to have contributed an essay to the booklet, ‘The Stylist: A curious case of mistaken identity’ and rub shoulders with the likes of my homegirl Alexandra Heller-Nicholas who has contributed with a sumptuous visual essay, ‘The Invisible Woman’.
For any horror fans who have not seen this feature-length version of the 2016 short of the same name, I urge you to rectify the oversight and move The Stylist to the top of your viewing list. I put it on my best films of 2020 and my uncle Ross says that it’s “the best horror film I’ve seen made in recent years.”
Let me draw your attention to the one from Second Sight, though, because it’s a little bit special.
As well as all the juicy original extras, it’s got a heap of news ones (and beautiful cover art!) including a freshly cooked video essay from Alexandra, a perfect-bound booklet with new essays by Hannah Woodhead and me (Emma Westwood), and a new interview with Julia Ducournau by Lou Thomas.
That’s just a taste (pardon the pun) of what makes this special limited edition extra special. You won’t be disappointed if you decide to add this one to your Blu-ray library.
Time has got away from me, which means I’m pleased to announce not one but two new commentaries for the fine folks at Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
THE WAR (1994), directed by Jon Avnet and starring Kevin Costner and Elijah Wood, is a Southern-drenched allegory of war waged on two fronts: the internal conflict of a man returned from the Vietnam War and the one faced by his kids against the town bullies. I’m honoured to have danced this commentary with Paul Anthony Nelson who makes his debut behind the DVD commentary mic (and what a premiere!)
ISN’T SHE GREAT (2000), directed by Andrew Bergman and starring Bette Midler and Nathan Lane, is a candy-coloured biopic about the larger-than-life author of Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann. I get to unpick the threads of this lost curio with my commentary sister, Sally Christie, and continue our proclivity for all things Bacharach.
I’ve just taken possession of this jaunty new release from Arrow Films. It’s a highly inventive, low budget monster film called LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER by Ryland Brickson Cole Tews and Mike Cheslik that kicks up a notch in the third act (a rarity these days). I’ve seen lots of monsters in my time, and this one is really something else.
I provide one of the commentary tracks with my other Lady of the Lake, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (the lake theme will become more evident with an upcoming announcement from Alex and myself). In the meantime, there are a heap of extras on this one to keep you busy, as the following image demonstrates…
Do yourself a solid and get behind these filmmakers. They’re ones to watch.
It’s official! Sally Christie and I have teamed up for our second audio commentary together, following Paul Schrader’s LIGHT SLEEPER – Eureka’s Blu-ray release of WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT?.
Directed by Clive Donner, WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT? is a rollicking, swinging ’60s slapstick jive with an awe-inspiring ensemble cast of Peter O’Toole, Peter Sellars, Paula Prentiss, Capucine, Romy Schneider, Woody Allen and Ursula Andress.